>Remembering Ramzi: Another Year Gone

>Some of you may remember that I posted on September 11 last year in honor of Ramzi Doany, one of the victims of the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center bombings. Sadly another year has passed. We’ve been to weddings, engagements, baptisms, school plays, and sadly a few funerals. In short, life has gone on.

Unfortunately for Ramzi, life didn’t go on. In one day, one moment, his life was cut short. His families lives were changed forever. So, again today, I honor my brother Ramzi. Although I never met him, he has touched my life. I hope he will touch yours. I’m reposting the information about him to remind us all of the aftereffects of 9/11. Truly it was a day that will live in infamy. Send out a prayer tonight for Ramzi’s soul and his family’s peace. I know that all prayers would be appreciated.

And, parents, give your kids an extra hug and kiss after the reminder that any day, any moment something life changing can happen. If it’s your last chance, don’t you want it to be memories of hugs and kisses that sustain you?

Sad Anniversaries!
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Begin Post 2008

I didn’t know Ramzi personally. But, as I’m sure you all know, Amman is a VERY small town. It’s so small that when the World Trade Center was destroyed on September 11, 2001, one of our own was lost. Ramzi was not only from Jordan, he was not only Palestinian, he was not only Christian, he was a member of our family. Although we weren’t related (even by marriage), we were related by faith, by worship, by practice. Ramzi was one of those American myths, the forgotten, the glossed over: the Palestinian Christian…

And when those planes went down, I listened to little-thinking colleagues talk about “those Palestinians” who were rejoicing. I explained that “those Palestinians” were mourning one of their sons. You would be foolish to think that out of nearly 3000 people, a Palestinian wasn’t killed. We heard from Teta and Jiddo Bean that Ramzi was in the building. We mourned from afar for Ramzi and his family, who we were sure must miss him terribly.

So, this year, a timely reminder from Tim (I never even know the date anymore) made me want to do more than just remember my horror watching the towers fall. It made me want to do more than remember my relief that El 3atal’s project in the WTC had ended in May and he wasn’t there. So I stumbled upon Project 2,996 and felt that a tribute to Ramzi would be the right thing to do. He gave me the opportunity to gently rebuke Americans caught up in the post 9/11 emotionalism. He gave me the chance to humanize Palestinians at a time when so many I knew needed that. He has given me so much.


Ramzi had a great sense of humor. He was known within his family for it and even used it to cover his own academic shortcomings. His sister reflected on a time when “As a child, Ramzi once dug a hole in our backyard for a terrible report card he had received and placed a headstone on top,” “When our parents asked for the report card, Ramzi explained to them that, “it was dead and buried!”

He loved family, he loved to read, he loved to cook. But mostly, it seems to me, he loved his family. He took his sister’s children to play sports, he cooked Thanksgiving turkeys, he treated friends like family. Ramzi was expecting delivery of a Harley Davidson in April or May 2002. Unfortunately, Ramzi would never receive his motorcycle. His life was cut short.
And, so this year, I ask each of you to observe a moment of silence for Ramzi today. At 9:11pm, turn off the TV, suspend your conversation, and reflect on our fallen brother. In this fish bowl that is Amman, let’s give Ramzi a tribute on this anniversary of his death. Let’s say we remember you. We won’t forget you. We miss you. And it’s equally true, whether we knew you or not.

And, for Ramzi’s family who is still here, know that our hearts are with you today. I pray that God will give you peace knowing that Ramzi is with him and you will see him again…

Happy Remembrances!

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